Recently the Board of Impact Silver Spring in Maryland, one of our partner networks, asked if we could “Flip Video” the Our House Campus at LCW to give them a better sense of how we use space to support the life of our Network. So this past Friday night, December 18th 2009, I took a little walk through the space. A little background before you look at the video:
OUR HOUSE Campus is comprised of 2 buildings and 2 parking areas which have been reclaimed by Lawrence CommunityWorks after almost 25 years of abandonement and deterioration. The buildings are a part of the old St. Laurence O’Toole Parish which was built around the turn of the last century. Our House is a 4 story former elementary school – a $5Million gut rehab – which has been restored as a green building with lots of historic details intact. It is partially powered by PVC and Geothermal and made extensive use of recycled materials. That building houses the Movement City Youth Network, Family Asset Building and the Homeownership Center. The large lobby and first floor meeting rooms are also used for a wide range of Network functions and activities. The Hennigan Center is a 19th Century Queen Anne “mansion” which began as a home and then served as the rectory for priests in the parish. LCW renovated that building for use as a business office and the home for the Community Organizing, Real Estate, Network Forum and Resource Development Offices. It is also the home for the Movement City Residency Program..7 congregate style living units for recent college grads from the Lawrence and Boston area who teach young people at Movement City. These young 20-somethings get free housing in exchange for spending a part of each week as instructors, mentors and tutors.
The campus is the centerpiece network space and was 6 years and almost $7 million in the making!!! It took the hard political, fundraising, planning, and physical work of hundreds of network members over a long period of time to build this home..and now it will be OUR HOUSE for generations to come. Welcome to Our House!